If you had any doubt about the impact digital technology has had on our lives, don’t be surprised when it follows you into the afterlife.
Omneo Group, is embracing the social and technical revolution and exploring a new – and inevitable – frontier: death. The Spanish start-up company is devoted to preserving the memory of loved ones using a state-of-the-art solution to memorialize the deceased.
“The concept was born about 15, 20 years ago,” Christian Crews, the CEO of Omneo, told Fox News Latino. “It was founded in Spain by Bruno Mezcua Escudero, a well-known sculptor with a long history in the funeral world. His father managed a cemetery in Madrid,” Crews said. The artist’s Omneo business partner is Iñigo Zurita.
Crews say that growing up, Mezcua Escudero would see people leaving the cemetery with their box of cremated remains, and it felt undignified to him. “He wanted to create something beautiful, elegant and personalized,” Crews said.
One of their products, the Omneo Memorial, incorporates the deceased’s ashes into a kind of minimalist prism. The shape and proportions were inspired by the Golden Ratio – a mathematical relation used by artists and architects like Da Vinci and Le Corbusier, who believed it to be the secret to creating a harmonious design.
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Omlime.com is the tech and social network side of the concept. Using the website, people are able to create online profiles with stories, videos and photos that can be shared with family and friends. Allowing people to be linked together for eternity.
“This serves as a kind of emotional support when someone passes,” Crews said.
The privacy controls are moderated by an administrator with all the necessary filters for protecting the dignity of the deceased.
The options for Omneo also include pre-planning and/or pre-paying for funeral services. Someone is able to create a profile for themselves before they die and even write a message in a time capsule to be released on a certain date on the day the day or weeks, months or years later.
According to Crews, this new concept of the funeral is “perfect for the Latino market in the U.S.,” he says. “Sixty percent of Latinos use social media versus 58% of average U.S. citizens, and 73% of Latinos are first generation with families living outside of the U.S. This tool means the funeral can be shared with families around the globe,” Crews said.
The Omneo Tap uses NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. This allows anyone with a smart phone to access the deceased’s omlim.com profile page, on demand, by simply tapping the self-adhesive paper-thin sticker containing the NFC technology, affixed to the actual memorial or any of the NFC ancillary products with a smart phone --without downloading an app.
While Omlime.com is available across the U.S. the Omneo Memorial, Tag and Tap are only available in South Florida, North New Jersey and Virginal Beach and throughout Spain. The company says it’s looking toward launching in Central and South America in the very near future.
Although Omneo won’t disclose how many people are currently using it, they did tell FNL that 275 funeral homes and 137 cemeteries in the US are currently offering it to customers.